September 9, 2009 1:40 PM

Commentary: Obama's speech offers a lesson in civility

President Barack Obama's face came in grainy, projected on the white board in Room 45 at East High School Tuesday morning. Students crowded in behind the rows of tables. A few teachers slipped in the door. I'd come to East, where I graduated 13 years ago, with several other reporters to watch the president's speech with teacher Michael Thompson's history class. My goal was to see the speech, which had become a lightning rod for controversy over the last week, and to get some insight into the ideological rift that has kept cropping up in our city and country in the months since the president took office.

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